"Ruby" no longer a "supertyphoon"

MANILA – Two meteorological agencies have downgraded the category of typhoon ''Ruby'' (international name: Hagupit).

The Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) of the US Navy, has downgraded Ruby from the maximum ''super typhoon'' category to ''typhoon'' status.

The Japan Meteorological Agency also downgraded the typhoon from the maximum ''violent'' to ''very strong''.

The JTWC, in its advisory issued 11 a.m. Friday (Manila time), said Ruby was packing one-minute average maximum sustained winds of 231 kilometers per hour (125 knots) and gusts of 277 kph (150 knots) as of 8 a.m. Friday.

The JTWC had earlier upgraded Ruby to super-typhoon status after its wind strength reached around 300 kph, matching those brought by super typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

The weather bureau forecasts the typhoon to grow weaker as it approaches the Philippines. The expected weakening of the weather disturbance is attributed to its interaction with land.

Based on its forecast track for the typhoon, the JTWC said Ruby's wind strength could decrease to 120 kph (65 knots) by the time it reaches the vicinity of Metro Manila.

''Hagupit will maintain a generally west to west- northwestward trajectory under the steering influence of the subtropical ridge,''the JTWC said.

The sub-tropical ridge is a large belt of high pressure system in the northern hemisphere that is referred to as an anti-cyclone system. This system has prevented the upward movement of the typhoon, forcing the weather disturbance to hit the Philippines.

''Bulk of the dynamic models have come into closer agreement on a generally westward track over the Philippines. While there is still some disagreement in the exact placement of the system, ranging between the Cagayan Valley to just north of Panay, there is better confidence in the JTWC forecast track," the JTWC said.


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